Your brows provide an essential framework for your face by offering a visual anchor – and when they’re cared for properly, they can help enhance your natural beauty. However, with a litany of information out there, it’s hard to discern fact from fiction. Should you stick with the classics? Or perhaps jump on the carousel of ever-revolving TikTok trends? To figure it all out, I chat with beauty and skincare expert Haley Bogaert – founder of HBFace – regarding the ins and outs of all things brows and how you can achieve your best brow (life).
At what age should you start brow maintenance?
Haley Bogaert (HB): Starting brow maintenance in the teenage years or early adulthood is advisable. During these phases, brow changes become noticeable, making it an ideal time to begin shaping routines that suit your natural brow shape, given that fuller brows impart a more youthful appearance. Softly arched and fuller eyebrows contribute to a youthful look on anyone.
What are the primary tools you should be using to care for your brows?
HB: One of my favorites is the angled brow pencil paired with a trusty spooly. This combination works wonders, allowing you to lightly feather in the product and fill your brows for that natural structured look. The spooly is the magic wand that imparts a softer, more natural finish. Should you desire a bolder brow, the pencil can be used by adding an extra touch of definition. Watch this how-to use video.
My other go-to is the brow glaze, a clear brow gel infused with hyaluronic acid. It keeps the brows in check, but also showers them with the goodness of hyaluronic acid, ensuring they stay conditioned and even providing a mini brow lift – a little secret for a fresh, awake appearance. Watch this how-to use video.
Your 20s is the perfect time to treat your brows to some care. Introducing a nourishing brow serum into your routine can work wonders by keeping your brows lush and encouraging growth. As the years roll on, brows tend to become less cooperative, growing sparsely in certain areas. A well-chosen brow serum can counter this, giving your brows the nutrients they need to thrive. My tip is to exercise consistency and apply it every evening, after your skincare routine. And be patient: brow serums typically take several weeks to several months to show noticeable results. Watch this how-to use video.
What is the difference between using a pencil, powder, or colored glaze for your brows? Do you have a preference?
HB: When it comes to brow styling, there are different options to cater to brows.
- With the pencil, you can go two ways. Fill in spareness for a fluffy, fuller appearance; or you can go the structured route, using the pencil to create clean lines and bold definition. The pencil is a versatile tool and easily accommodates to both styles.
- The brow powder creates a softer appearance. For a less polished look, an angled brush and even some eye shadow (which can do double duty for your brows) can work wonders. It’s about creating that relaxed, natural look.
- A tinted-glaze can be a time-saver and beneficial if it has a hydrating element, such as a hyaluronic acid. It is designed for someone in a rush or in need of an efficient touch-up, as well as someone who wants to cover lighter hair.
The best of both worlds would be a brow pencil and clear glaze. If someone has gotten a brow tint – they can solely use the glaze. But as the tint fades, incorporating the pencil will help compensate for structure and fullness.
Ultimately, individual circumstances and own preferences are always ever changing. The choice between pencil, powder, or glaze hinges on your desired outcome, style, and schedule. Don’t be afraid to experiment here to see what you like.
Are there different brow shapes to be mindful of depending on the face shape you have?
HB: When it comes to shaping your eyebrows, you can consider your face shape as a general guideline to help you find a brow shape that complements your features.
- Oval Face: Is versatile and can work with various brow shapes. A soft, slightly arched brow tends to complement this face shape well.
- Round Face: To add definition to a round face, go for arched brows with a higher peak. This will create the illusion of more angular features.
- Square Face: A soft, rounded brow with a gentle arch can soften the angles of a square face and add some elegance.
- Diamond Face: A curved brow with a soft arch can balance the sharp angles of a diamond face, making it appear more harmonious.
- Heart Face: A slightly rounded brow with a gentle arch can complement the wider forehead and narrower chin of a heart-shaped face.
- Pear Face: A well-balanced, slightly arched brow can help create symmetry with a pear-shaped face, drawing attention away from the narrower forehead.
- Oblong Face: A flat or softly arched brow can help break up the length of an oblong face and make it appear shorter.
The bottom line here is that brow shapes and shades are a varied spectrum and the key is to harmonize with one’s natural attributes. Enhancing the natural brow shape is the guiding principle. The beauty of brows lies in their uniqueness – they span structured, fluffy, thin, arched, softly arched forms, high arc, straight brows, short, thick.
Can you offer a guideline to color matching the right brow shade to your skin tone?
- Fair-Skinned: If you have fair (or pale) skin, consider brow shades that are one or two shades darker than your hair color for a natural look.
- Pink Undertones: If you have pink undertones in your skin, opt for cool-toned brow shades like taupe or ash brown.
- Olive Undertones: Olive-toned skin pairs well with warmer brow shades like medium brown or warm taupe.
- Golden Undertones: If you have warm, golden undertones in your skin, choose brow colors with warm undertones, such as rich brown or caramel.
- Brown or Black tones: Deeper skin tones can experiment with darker brow shades like dark brown or even black, depending on hair color.
Can you speak to some of the primary brow services offered on the market and your advice regarding them?
- Waxing: Is a temporary hair removal method that can be used to shape and clean up your brows. However, it can be painful, tough on the skin, and may cause irritation for some individuals.
- Plucking/Tweezing: This is a precise method for shaping and maintaining your brows. It’s cost-effective and can be done at home. However, it can be time-consuming and may cause discomfort or redness, especially if not done correctly. Many people can over-pluck and not know when to stop.
- Threading: Is another technique for shaping and cleaning up brows. It involves using a twisted thread to catch and remove hair at the follicle. This technique is known for its precision and can create sharp, well-defined brow shapes. It is more gentle against the skin rather than waxing, for example, as it is not pulling a layer of your skin.
- Microblading: This is a permanent cosmetic tattooing technique used to enhance the appearance of eyebrows. A technician uses a handheld tool to deposit pigment into the skin in fine, hair-like strokes. This is an option for individuals who feel the need to have a darker noticeable brow. I personally do not recommend microblading as it is permanent, and can potentially cause permanent damage to your skin.
- Laser Hair Removal: This service is a long-term solution for unwanted hair. I also do not recommend this as there are many negative effects and potential damage it can cause (due to the laser being so close to your eyes, as an example).
- Lamination: Think of it like giving a perm for your eyebrows and making hairs you already have on your brows more prominent and visible using a safe lamination solution. This service is oftentimes paired with Brow Tinting.
- Brow Tinting: This involves applying a semi-permanent dye to the eyebrows to enhance their color and definition. It can cover grays, white hair; it makes the brows also appear fuller. It’s a quick, painless, and a relatively affordable way to make brows appear fuller and more defined.
- Injectables (Botox or Fillers): Some individuals may choose to use injectable treatments like Botox or dermal fillers to address specific brow concerns. Botox can relax muscles that cause forehead wrinkles and lift the brows slightly, while fillers can add volume to the brow area for a more youthful look. Keep in mind that the upkeep with using injectables can be quite costly.
- Eyebrow Serums: Brow serums contain active ingredients designed to promote eyebrow hair growth and thickness. They can be a non-invasive option for those looking to improve the appearance of their brows.
The choice of which brow care method to use depends on your goals, budget, pain tolerance, and preferences. For more risky procedures such as laser and microblading, I advise consulting with a trained and licensed professional who can help you determine the best option for your specific needs and ensure safe and effective results.
How do you feel about trendy/risky brow looks?
HB: When it comes to ‘of-the-moment’ social media driven styles like bleaching, ultra-skinny, and the fluffy ‘caterpillar’ look, I firmly advocate to stay true to your natural brow shape as the guiding principle. Embracing the natural arch and curves enhances your overall facial harmony, ensuring a timeless appeal.
I don’t recommend brow bleaching for most individuals – unless you’re on the runway 😉 This technique can appear harsh and unnatural, often clashing with your original brow color. Embracing your inherent color compliments your look more authentically.
Also, drastic changes (such as over plucking for that ultra-skinny look) to your brows also could present challenges and potential damage to the brow follicles, leading to uneven regrowth, as an example.
Lastly, the fluffy or caterpillar brow yields a more youthful appearance and remains consistently popular. However, personalizing any trend to align with your unique attributes and facial structure is the key way to go.
What’s the easiest way to get your dream eyebrows for those who don’t have the time to commit to something more involved?
HB: For those with time constraints, begin by brushing your brows with a spooly brush to neaten them. Next, a brow pencil or powder that matches your hair color to fill in sparse areas and define your brows’ natural shape – focusing on enhancement rather than radical reshaping. To soften the look, use the spooly brush again for blending. Seal the brow with a brow gel, ensuring your brows stay perfectly in place. Watch this how-to video.
Ultimately, a key part of this process involves consistent upkeep. Scheduling a brow thread every four weeks can play a pivotal role. This professional touch helps maintain your desired brow shape while taming any stray hairs that can disrupt the overall look. The routine enables you to enhance your brows without demanding excessive commitment. Utilizing a brow serum can help in prompting fuller and healthier brows, enhancing your brow journey.
Can you offer any final tips for brow care?
HB: Keeping your brows in prime condition involves using a facial oil (specifically one that has hyaluronic acid as a key ingredient) for nourishment and health. During your cleansing routine, it’s advisable to use a gentle touch to prevent potential fallout (of hairs).
Finally, in the pursuit of your best brows, a combination of professional guidance and consistent self-maintenance forms the foundation for brow health and beauty.